Winner of the IGF award for Excellence in Narrative and towing four BAFTA nominations behind it, inkle studios’ 80 days is scheduled to release on PC and Mac on the 29th of September, with copies being sold on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store at the modest sum of 9.99 American shillings.
The already wordy game – it had over five hundred thousand words in its mobile iteration – is getting a hefty content update, with thirty new cities to see, 150k words to read and two novel plotlines. The port is being done by Cape Guy, an indie studio created by former rocksteady developer Ben Nicholson, and will be done from the ground up in Unity 5. From their studio’s page:
The desktop versions are being built in Unity, with the bulk of the work done by Cape Guy, a new indie studio founded by ex-Rocksteady developer Ben Nicholson. Ben approached us to take the game on, and quickly impressed us with his credentials as a developer (if you want to know what he did on the Batman games, for instance, take a look at the company name and guess – Ben wrote the original physics code for Batman’s cape inArkham Asylum.)
We’ve been building in Unity 5, and leaning heavily on the new UI canvas system, with some of our features – such as the gently animated text reveal – really putting it through its paces.
We’ve also been making use of the graphical capabilities to produce some fancy new colour and shading effects, including a day/night cycle that moves across the surface of the globe.
The new version is prettier than ever!
If you aren’t acquainted with the game, 80 days was released on mobile platforms over a year ago, and received nearly unanimous praise from both press and its players. In short, it’s an interactive fiction game where you have to race around the world and where your choices have branching consequences. You play as the manservant of 19th century adventurer Phileas Fogg, Passepartout, and must take care of him – from finances to medical issues – as you set your own path around the globe. There are many things to see and many things you’ll miss out on every playthrough, as the developers have gone so far as claiming that a single playthrough will usually have you reading around 3% of the (mobile version’s) 500 thousand words. Some of the more elusive secrets and easter eggs have only been seen by a handful of people.
Treading into a land (or sea, or unterzee) that’s most recently been (very well) explored by failbetter games’ Sunless Sea, 80 days comes to the PC bearing the weight of recommendations such as being TIME’S 2014 game of the year and having been called by The Telegraph as “one of the best novels in 2014“. Have a look at its PC trailer:
I’m not one to play much on my phone, so I’m looking forward to solving the game’s mysteries, hearing its stories and visiting its several cities as I venture around its 19th century world.